Review - Pie Girls by Lauren Clark

Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2014 11:47 PM
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Book Title: Pie Girls
Author: Lauren Clark
Series: N/A
Rating:  5 stars



Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.
But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
Review: 

Pie Girls is a captivating southern chick lit tale about new beginnings and homecomings. Searcy Roberts is your quintessential spoiled, materialistic socialiate whose world is turned on its axis when her husband goes missing on their wedding anniversary. Just when things couldn't get any worse, Searcy discovers a revelation about her husband that changes the course of her life forever. In an attempt to move past the unexpected news about her husband, Searcy returns to her small hometown with her tail tucked between her legs. Searcy moves in with her mother and begins to chart new territory in her much less glamorous life and starts working at her mother's bakery, Pie Girls.

Author Lauren Clark is a unique new voice in southern fiction and has a clear knack for descriptive prose, dialogue, and character development. Here's one example of the great prose throughout the novel:
I see a man in a worn navy t-shirt and a pair of Levi's, frayed at the heels. Though I'd rather not admit it, I can't help but notice that the jeans fit just right, and how his bicep and arm muscles contract when he reaches for a tool or tightens a bolt. Dry-mouthed, I observe the noise-maker for another minute or two. He's singing along to the lyrics, pausing only for a brief air guitar solo.
I also liked how Searcy grew throughout the story and was a stronger, more down to earth woman at the end of the novel than she was at the beginning. By the middle of the novel, I was firmly rooting for Searcy to overcome the obstacles in her life. I'm also a huge fan of anything involving romance, so I loved the relationship development between Searcy and the hunky bicycle shop owner, Luke Nolan.

I highly recommend this novel!



Loren Mathis

Review - Undone by Jessica Roe

Posted on Sunday, October 12, 2014 5:12 PM
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Book Title: Undone
Author: Jessica Roe
Series: The Guardians (Book 1)
Rating: 5 stars


Nicky is trying to be a good guy... All Gable wants is to be bad.

Fresh out of prison and down on his luck, Nicky is trying to be a good guy. With a past overrun by darkness and shadows, he's willing to do whatever it takes to change. He just never dreamed his road to redemption would open his eyes to a world full of magic and mystical beings.

All Gable wants is to be bad. Because only a bad person would do the things she's done and not even care. She's not looking to be saved, not from her world, not from herself. Not even by Nicky.

At sixteen, Nicky and Gable were in love, but eight years apart is a long time and people change. After the tragedy that once ripped Gable from Nicky's world, they never expected to see each other again, especially not on the opposing sides of a fight between good and evil.

They will rescue each other, they will betray each other, they will be undone.

Review: 

Undone
is a fast-paced, captivating, and innovative urban fantasy. From the awesome cover to the first few opening scenes, I was hooked. Nicolas (Nicky) Pierce is newly released from prison and is attempting to turn over a new leaf, trying to avoid falling back into the bad habits that got him thrown into jail in the first place. Simply put, he's trying to live a normal life. However, it soon becomes clear that Nicky's life will be anything but normal because he is painfully attuned into the presence of an alternate world that most people are unaware exists. Author Jessica Roe does a great job in developing Nicky's character and describing Nicky's life-long struggles to cope with his abilities. It is this gift (or curse) that puts him on the radar of a highly secretive government department that wants to employ him in order to utilize his talents. The level of tension in the story builds with new revelations about the "Outcasts" , "Shadows", and the importance of "Shadow Guides."

Intermingled in the danger and intrigue that is Nicky's new occupation, is his complicated relationship with his former flame, Gabrielle (Gable). Nicky has known Gable since they were teenagers and has been in love with her for almost as long. There's just one problem for this reunited couple: Gable is walking on the wrong side of the tracks... in fact, she's actively working against Nicky and his new employer. I absolutely love anything with romance and Jessica Roe does a great job developing believable romantic tension between Nicky & Gable.

This author did a wonderful job in creating a fresh new paranormal universe, constructing realistic and witty dialogue, and creating relatable characters whom readers can root for. Here's an example of some of the snappy writing that can be found throughout the novel:

"Why do we need to go down to the wine celler?" He folded his arms and glared.
"So we can murder you and bury your body there. Trust me, we'd be doing everyone a favour."

Overall, I thought the characters were well-drawn, particularly Gable's inner resistance against the person she'd become and her road to redemption. The captivating writing pulled me in and made me want to know why Gable had decided to work for the criminal elements in the story. I also loved how this author provided enough detail to fully pull me into the story and made this intriguing setting come alive. If you are a fan of Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, or Kat Richardson, you MUST read this book! Jessica Roe is definitely a talented new author to look out for. I look forward to reading more books in this series!

Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 



Loren Mathis

Author Interview - Lauren Clark

Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 12:14 AM
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Hello Everyone! Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lauren Clark author of Pie Girls.

Hi Lauren, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I grew up in Upstate New York (near Niagara Falls, land of ice and snow! As a child, I spent many of our winters skating, sledding, and playing in the snow, even when it was well below zero!

What were you like at school? I would consider myself a good student in school, though I wish I had pushed myself a little harder. I was a multi-tasker back then, too—always involved in cheerleading, field hockey, soccer, and social activities, as well as my school work.

Were you good at English? It was definitely my best subject and my favorite classes. It was never a chore to write papers, I love reading books, and I adore talking about theme, storyline, characters, and plot. I went on to be an English major in college and a Journalism major during graduate school, so writing it certainly in my blood!

What are your ambitions for your writing career? I’d love to hit the New York Times Bestseller List. That would be surreal.

So, what have you written?
Stay Tuned (2011) – set in Macon, Ga
Dancing Naked in Dixie (2012) – set in Eufaula, Ala
Stardust Summer (2013) – set in Ocean Springs, Miss & Penn Yan, NY
A Very Dixie Christmas (2013) – short story set in Eufaula, Ala. (Part of Merry & Bright ebook)
Pie Girls (August, 2014) – set in Fairhope, Ala.

Why prompted you to write your first book?
I was a television news anchor for six years in New York and Alabama. Before I began working at the first station, there was major personnel upheaval. It seems that the two main anchors, who were embroiled in an on-again, off-again relationship, had a knock-down drag-out fight in the television station parking lot. The police were called, they both lost their jobs, and the story made the local newspaper for weeks. That incident always stuck with me—and I thought it would be even more compelling if it happened on air during a news broadcast. That little nugget became the basis for my first novel, Stay Tuned.

How did you come up with the title for Pie Girls?
I like short, snappy titles – ones that tell the reader something about the story – and a title that a fun, bright cover can be designed around. For me, the novel is about the pie shop, owned by Searcy’s mother, who secretly has always wanted her daughter to come home to Fairhope, Alabama and run the business with her (thus the Pie Girls).

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message is about really knowing yourself and what makes you happy. Searcy has spent her whole life running after a dream—one that she thinks looks perfect to her friends and family. Unfortunately, she’s desperately unhappy and is clinging to the belief that she can just ignore the loneliness she experiences and the problems in her marriage. The message is also about the strength women have when their entire world falls apart. Searcy chooses—after some initial moping—that she will fix her life and make it better. Even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Searcy learns that she is smart and can persevere.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
When we first meet Searcy, she is a very spoiled Southern belle who’s been pampered and polished to shine in Atlanta’s hottest social scenes. She has a personal shopper, a group of wealthy girlfriends, and a credit card with no limit. She spends her days shopping, going out to lunch, planning parties, and socializing.

What makes her so special is that even in the first chapter, we glimpse the real Searcy. She knows, deep down, that something is wrong, but can’t bring herself to admit it. She projects a positive, upbeat attitude and tries to keep things status quo, because she doesn’t believe she can live without her husband Alton.

Alton’s leaving upends Searcy’s life. At first, it appears that the impending divorce is the end of the world, but Searcy’s journey makes her into an entirely different person—someone caring, giving, empathetic, and truly loving. Best of all, she learns to rely on herself, forgives Alton, and finds true love.

What genre are your books?  I guess you could consider them Southern Women’s fiction, although I definitely would also consider them a hybrid ChickLit category. My wonderful readers have mentioned that if you like Sophie Kinsella and Mary Kay Andrews, you’ll like my books.

What draws you to this genre?  I like strong, smart, but flawed female characters. Romance is a secondary part of the storyline. First and foremost, my novels are about the personal growth of a character—usually by undergoing some personal tragedy or seemingly insurmountable odds. I love the fact that my characters can work through their initial fears or worries and become strong, independent women with bright futures.

Do you write full-time or part-time?  At the present time, I am a part-time writer!  I have a full-time job as a web content manager and social media manager for Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. I’m also in graduate school at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) for a master’s degree in Interactive Technology.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  Because of my crazy schedule, which also includes my two young sons, I write from 5:30 am – 7:30 am Monday through Friday if possible. I also spend Saturday and Sunday mornings writing, if at all possible.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? When I’m in the midst of writing a first draft, I feel satisfied if I can get down 1,500 – 2,000 words a day.  For me, that’s usually one chapter. I like starting and finishing a chapter in one sitting. It gives me a real sense of completion and gives me something fresh to start with the next day!

Where do your ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere!  For Stay Tuned, it was the fistfight in the parking lot of the TV station. For Dixie, it was based on my own move from New York to Alabama and everything I experienced along the way. For Stardust Summer, I wanted to showcase the glorious lake area near where I grew up and look at an estranged family and how they are able to come together in the face of tragedy, For Pie Girls, it was coming across a fun, funky, community-oriented pie shop in the small town of Greensboro, Alabama, and thinking that I’d love to set something similar in Fairhope, Alabama.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I am definitely a plotter and an outliner. I work from a one or two line “What if?” idea and work out the plot from there. I end up with at least a few sentences about each chapter before I begin writing. I have the major plot points and twists, as well as the ending, mostly worked out before I begin the manuscript.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?  I would love to! In fact, I am debating about writing Book #2 in my Dixie series right now. The people in Eufaula have been asking what’s next for Shug and Julia!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I read all of the time. I listen to audio books all of the time!  My favorite authors include Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, and Jennifer Weiner. I also adore Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Roth, and John Green. Really, there are so many awesome authors! I could be here for hours listing them all!

In what formats is your book available? Ebook and paperback. All are available on Audible as well. The Pie Girls audiobook is in production now!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?  I welcome emails from readers! You can write to me at laurenclarkbooks@gmail.com.


Book Purchase Links:

Amazon (US)




Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.




Loren Mathis

Blog Tour: Author L.A. Rose

Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 12:01 AM
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GIVEAWAY ALERT!



Excerpt from ADRIAN LESSONS:

“Christ,” Adrian finally mutters after a good half minute of staring at my body. He runs his hand through his hair.
I’m not saying my grand plan is to make him so worked up he’ll have to satisfy me. And then I can move on with my life.
I’m not saying that’s my plan, but if it were, I’d be an evil genius.
“You too,” I smirk, trailing my fingers down my bare waist. “That shirt looks expensive. Wouldn’t want to mess it up.”
Not taking his eyes from me, he pulls his shirt off, back over front in that casual way boys have. I gasp. Doves zoom overhead, sprinkling golden confetti. A chorus of angels sing. Okay, not all that actually happens, but it’s the first time I’ve seen him shirtless.
And that chest deserves some fanfare.
His torso is tan, lithe and strong, the hard contours of a six-pack-verging-on-eight-pack begging to be licked. Every ounce of him is sculpted, refined. Just looking at him floods my abdomen with tension. There’s a swirling tattoo on the left side of his ribs, but I’m too busy thinking about how I want to mount his torso on my mantelpiece like a serial killer to dwell on it.
My roommate looks between us, her eyes narrowed. “You two seem to be getting along much better today.”
If by ‘getting along’ she means ‘staring at each other with enough sexual tension to hoist the Titanic from the bottom of the sea’ then yes.
“Remember, guys,” she says. “Last time was more about the romance between the characters. Their first kiss. This is purely sexual.”
At the words ‘purely sexual’, a shiver grips my spine. I think Adrian might be similarly affected, because he hardens all over. And I mean all over.
“Come on, then,” I muster up the courage to say, fingering the lacy edge of my panties. “Inspire me.” 

--
Buy links: 



And here's a link to my Facebook page and Twitter accounts:




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Loren Mathis

Author Interview - RC Matthews

Posted on Friday, September 12, 2014 12:01 AM
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Hello Everyone!
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing R.C. Matthews author of Little White Lies as well as the Wish Come True series (Date Night, Fair Game, Begin Again, and The Mastermind).
Hi R.C. Matthews, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in the metro Detroit area and was raised by deaf parents along with three older sisters and a younger brother. After attending a liberal arts college and obtaining a degree in Accounting and German, I began my career as a public accountant. I’m still working full-time now as a public accountant and I write mostly on the weekends. I lived for four years in Germany and two years in Boston but most of my life has been spent in Michigan. I’m happily married to my second husband and I have two teenage boys of my own and a stepson.
What were you like at school?
I was a goody two shoes and straight A student my whole life. Most of my time was spent either studying or running cross country and track.
Were you good at English?
Yes. I loved my English classes. Writing was always a pleasure for me and grammar came easily to me.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambition is to write interesting, quality books that entertain readers and hopefully make them laugh. Romance should be sexy and fun and ALWAYS include a happily ever after.
So, what have you written?
My published books by R.C. Matthews include Little White Lies, Date Night, Fair Game, Begin Again, and The Mastermind. I recently placed in the top twenty short stories for a contest held by DigiWriting and my short story will be published in their “Romancing the Story Anthology”. I’ve also written a New Year’s Eve short story that I hope will be published in a box set by Crimson Romance. However, if it isn’t picked up by the publisher, I’ll probably self-publish it near the holiday. I’m currently writing an erotica book under the pen name K.M. Matthews entitled, Make Me Whole. It’s a lot darker than my contemporary romances but I’m having a lot of fun writing it. We’ll see how it turns out. Fingers crossed. I’m also currently writing a teen fantasy book, INFINITAS, under the pen name David N. Sebastian.  Wow.  It’s been a busy year. All of this and my debut novel was published March 24, 2014.

Loren Mathis

Guest Post - Author Lauren Clark

Posted on Friday, September 5, 2014 12:01 AM
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One of the favorite parts of my week is talking to my good friend, Mary, about books. It’s a favorite topic of ours—and we share the same passion for stories that make us laugh, make us cry, and make us think a little longer and harder about life. 

We compare notes about the books we’re reading (this week, The Silkworm…will Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin ever get together?), the audiobook we’re listening to (this week, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), and our favorite books of the year (mine – Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes and Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian, Mary’s – The Book Thief).

We’re always looking for the next greatest book, which made me think about what makes a novel particularly wonderful, gripping, or un-put-downable. 

It’s by no means comprehensive, but I came up with my own must-have list:

1. A character that I like, care about, or believe in
2. An big upheaval or challenge in that character’s life
3. Lovely writing with smart dialogue
4. A setting that transports me to a different place
5. An interesting story arc that keeps me turning pages
6. A romantic interest
7. A formidable antagonist
8. A few funny or tender moments to break the tension
9. Personal growth by the main character
10. A satisfying, but not necessarily perfect ending

All of the books I’ve mentioned above—and so many more—contain those qualities. It’s an intricate puzzle that a skilled author puts together over weeks, months, and sometimes, years. 

What are your favorite qualities in a really good book? What makes you finish the story and smile? I’d love it if you’d share your must-have list!

xx, Lauren 


Buy links:

AMAZON LINK:        
Social Media: 
Twitter  @LaurenClark_Bks


Summary:
Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.

But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.

Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.

Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.


BIO:

Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets. A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends.

She is the author of four award-winning novels, including Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, and Stardust Summer. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Follow her on Twitter @Laurenclark_bks and check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.







Loren Mathis

Guest Post - Author Sawyer Belle

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014 12:01 AM
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Thank you, Loren, for having me! I'm excited to be here.

Every author is asked the question at some point in their career. How do you come up with this stuff?

For me, inspiration begins with a place. I know my story’s setting before I ever know its characters. Every place has a vibe – a soul. It’s layered with years of history, of tragedy and triumph, of progress, destruction, and the fingerprints of all the personalities that went into its making. There are definite differences between walking down the streets of Rome, sloshing through the surf along a Caribbean shoreline, and the smell of sagebrush after a desert rain in the hills of Virginia City, Nevada.

Tapping into the heart of a place and being able to recreate it in fiction so that it comes alive to the reader is one of my greatest goals as a writer. When it happens, I feel that spark of life in my storyteller’s heart, and characters are quickly born.

As a writer of historical romance, I take advantage of the genre to educate my readers about places and events through the eyes of my characters. History is a far more colorful storyteller than any writer I’ve read. In the right setting, history has already mapped out the plot. All that’s left is to write characters who will do it justice, and that is no small task. In fact, it is the greatest one, but it ties back to that sense of place. If I really know a place, I will know the type of people who inhabited it.

I had an advantage when writing my newest release, Silver Nights With You, which takes place in northern Nevada during the early days of the silver boom, 1860s. I’m a native of southern Nevada, but lived up north for three years during college. I spent those years combing the hills around Virginia City, soaking up every exciting word of the town’s wild past. I read books, old newspapers, attended lectures, visited landmarks and graveyards, took tours and studied photographs – and this was long before I was even aware of the story culminating in my brain!
The desert, and therefore almost the entire state of Nevada, has an overlooked and underrated beauty. It’s raw and rugged, inviting the strongest and demanding their perseverance. In the words of the book’s hero, Morgan Kelly, “What survives here thrives.” When I mention the phrase “the wild west,” people rarely think of Nevada, and that is an injustice to both the state and the reputation it helped mold. I'm hoping my novel will change that.

In Silver Nights With You, readers follow the tale of two brothers, Morgan and Valentine, who find their fortune out west in the silver mines of Virginia City. The town sprouts up around them, inviting all manner of lawlessness, from bar fights to robberies to political corruption, and the danger doesn’t stop there. The risks of early mining, the natural perils of the environment and the pitfalls of a developing society all cause a stir for the brothers. But nothing could have prepared Morgan for the east coast debutante, and the frenzy she caused when she arrived in a stage coach full of bullet holes.

The book will be released on September 1st, available only through Amazon, both in print and Kindle format. I invite readers to enjoy this excerpt, and also encourage them to follow me on Facebook, Goodreads and my blog: www.sayitsawyer.wordpress.com. For more information regarding my other published works and upcoming projects, please see my website: www.sawyerbelle.com.

Silver Nights With You - Excerpt

Loren Mathis

Guest Post - Author RC Matthews

Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 12:01 AM
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Sexy Time: How Much Is Enough in Romance Novels?

Many publishers of romance have come up with creative ways to designate the amount of sexual content within the books they offer. My debut contemporary romance novel, Little White Lies, was published by Crimson Romance on March 24, 2014 and is designated as being “Sensual”. The other potential categories include “Behind Closed Doors” and “Spicy”.

While writing Little White Lies, I struggled with how much sexy time to include in the story and how explicit the sex scenes should be. Part of the reason I struggled is that every reader is different. Some readers prefer euphemisms to describe what all of the essential body parts are doing during the act, while others prefer explicit and hard core terminology. Yet another group of readers would rather leave the sex to their own imagination.

So how much sex is the right amount of sex in a romance novel and how explicit should it be? In the end, I realized that I will never be able to please every single reader. It’s simply impossible. You want proof? Check out reviews for my second romance novel, Date Night. One reader rated the book four stars and withheld one star because there wasn’t enough sex in the book. Whereas another reader rated the book three stars because there was too much explicit sex in the book. Go figure! So instead of worrying over how much sex to include in my books or how explicit that sex should be, I focus on the story line and the romance and let the characters dictate how much sex is the right amount for the story.

Loren Mathis

Amber Thessaily - Guest Post

Posted on Friday, July 4, 2014 12:00 AM
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So Metallica play Glastonbury and the world didn’t end. I’ll be honest, I thought it might. Figured the hinky, something’s coming feeling, that there-but-not-quite-there squamous sensation that’s clearly heralding some sort of big bad ‘other’ would turn out to be linked to that. Not because all metal bands are Devil worshiping Satanists, far from it, more that the convergence of that much raw power (the biggest metal band in the world – trust me, they have power, with a capital POW) that close to the Salisbury ley lines would have some sort of huge mystical ramifications. Especially if Hammet is using THAT guitar. For those of us with sight the Tor would be lit up and visible from hundreds of miles around, that was for sure.

But it didn’t happen. And so, instead of holding off an imminent apocalypse, I’m here writing this. A blog. To advertise my book. Right.

Incidentally, Dolly didn’t bring about the end of the world either. I only mention this as a point of interest and because, well, because, to be completely honest, I’m not really sure what else to say.  Now if anyone was going to bring about the end of the world and ultimate evil I’d kind of want it to be her. Imagine Dolly in her white and rhinestones, head of a new world order where man is enslaved to the every whim of Demonkind all to the sound of ‘Jolene’…

Actually don’t. Some things are potentially too terrifying, even for the most hardener demon hunter.

Anyway, I digress. Apparently, what I should be writing is some kind of blah, blah, blah about the book I wrote.  Far as I can see, there’s not a great deal to say, other than that it’s a good book. No, it’s a great book. I mean, it’s not like I often get the time to set down somewhere and lose myself in a book. Generally, demon hunting doesn’t leave much time for anything more than the usual musty tomes of Demon lore, but, if I had more time for the occasional fiction break, it’s totally the kind of book I would want to set down and read. Well, that’s not entirely true. If I had a choice it’d be those books about the funny wizard guy. Not the David Jason one, the other one. Y’know the one with the skull. His books. Yeah, I’d be reading those. Then my book.  Because my book is great – did I say that already?

Loren Mathis

HM Christi - Guest Post

Posted on Sunday, June 29, 2014 4:53 PM
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The truth is I’ve always been a very sexual being, drifting off about my Knight in Shining Armor, kissing me and taking me away for a passionate happily ever after, that was when I was a small child and then carrying on to more deeper topics as I got older.  I remember someone used to give my grandmother stacks of those thick cheesy romance novels, and they were stored in the spare bedroom I slept in when I’d spend the night at her house and I can remember flipping through for only the love scenes reading as many of them as I could as a teenager and thinking “why don’t they just write a whole book of these scenes, it’s what everyone really likes about these books anyway”.  So as adult that is exactly what I did.  Just the Juicy Parts is like flipping through those romance novels and finding only the hot and steamy love scenes to add some fire to your night but written with more modern and classy appeal.  Out of these ten short stories there’s something for everyone!

A little about me:

I’m 39 years old, black hair, fair skinned, unique, sexual, silly, left handed, girlie girl who loves to smile! I am married to my high school sweetheart and enjoy that he's the only man I've ever been with. I love sex and lust and have a very dirty side! I have a very unique perspective on just about everything and love sharing those thoughts with the world through my writing!  As a true romantic at heart I give you my pledge:  With passion, heart and soul I bring you all the sensuality your heart desires.  With the true love I have for my work I hope to fill your days and nights with a place of ecstasy, adventure, and debauchery in a sexy fantasy world in which to escape to on each page of every book I write that will keep you longing for more.

What’s more is I have a friend in an abusive relationship and so I’m saving the proceeds from this book to help her get out of there as she has no financial support so purchases and reviews mean more than me just selling books, they are someone’s way out.  I am also currently ghost writing her story and would love for everyone to stop by the site I put together for her www.lifewithasociopath.net to be on the lookout for her true life horror story to be released by autumn.  Otherwise please stop by Amazon (http://amzn.to/1hYAKCi) for your copy of Just the Juicy Parts today! 

H.M. Christi

www.hmchristi.com




Loren Mathis

Author Interview - Teena Stewart

Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014 12:00 AM
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Hello Everyone!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Teena Stewart, co-author of Brave New Century and Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship

Hi Teena, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I am an author / artist with three grown children. I’ve lived all over the U. S., was born in NC and grew up in Viriginia. About 5 years ago my husband and I moved back to NC and I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with my southern roots.

What were you like at school?

Painfully shy, horse crazy, creative and very artistic.

Were you good at English?

I was strong in creative writing. Always seemed to catch the teacher’s eye but wasn’t as strong in grammar—too right brained.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I think these days I feel more drawn to write for women, whether it is fiction or non-fiction, and in the fiction realm more drawn to women’s fiction.


So, what have you written?

Tons of articles, inclusion in a bunch of short story inspirational book compilations, quite a few books that are ministry related, and then the two mentioned above. I have a romantic suspense that is being shopped to publishers right now. Brave New Century if my first fiction book and it’s co-written with three author authors. Mothers and Daughters came from my own painful experience with my mom.



Or go to my website www.teenastewart.com to see the complete list.


Loren Mathis

Guest Post, Jessica Dall

Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014 12:00 AM
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POVs and Opinions
Jessica Dall


While I have always enjoyed writing (stretching back to just about as soon as I was able to hold a pen), compared to a lot of writer friends I have, I figured out that being “a writer” was something I wanted to do rather late into the game. Where I was dragged into creative writing club by a friend, I was actually a drama kid in high school—much more focused on the school play than my writing.

Heading into college, I still loved drama, but it was then that my writing really started to take off. And really, the two activities were not all that different. Both involved trying to get into someone else’s head—just now I was controlling those people rather than following someone else’s lines.

And perhaps that is what I like most about writing. I have always been fascinated by other people—their thoughts, their motivations. Writing gives me an excuse to spend far too much time thinking about those things in new, creative ways.

It is not always easy, however, when you’re creating entire worlds of new people. There are a number of ways to character build, everyone has something that works for them, but what too often seems to get missed is that the world has not only affected the characters, but your characters affect the world.

Loren Mathis

Author Interview, Marquita Herald

Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014 12:00 AM
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Hello Everyone!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Marquita Herald author of Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience.
Hi Marquita, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
What inspired you to write your book?
I write about emotional resilience, and that interest represents a life-long passion. A lot of people grow up in dysfunctional families, in fact I often joke about how fear didn’t just run in my family - it galloped. At some point as a kid I became fascinated watching the people around me deal with fear and trauma and curious about why people react so differently to similar difficulties.
What brought it all together for me was a man I met several years ago by the name of W. Mitchell. Mitchell has overcome not one, but two horrific accidents that left him in a wheel chair, the fingers burned off his hands, and scars over most of his body. Mitchell’s motto is “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.” He not only helped me understand the power of emotional resilience but inspired me to share the value of cultivating these characteristics with others.
Later, when I decided to try my hand at writing a book, there really was no question that it would be about the benefits of emotional resilience.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
I am pretty single minded in my passion about personal freedom and accepting the power and authority we each have to create our own live experience, so this is the central theme in all of my writing.
How much research do you do?
I work hard to keep up with the latest studies in the various areas of emotional resilience so I read a lot of research - piles and piles of studies. Not the most exciting material, and sometimes I have to reread a report a few times before I get all the technical jargon, but we’re talking people’s lives, so it’s important to me that the advice I share with my readers is based on proven scientific research. I also follow several personal development journals, and of course I’m active in social media which helps me to stay current on trends.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
No matter where I am in the world I naturally wake up on or before 4am, in fact I haven’t owned an alarm clock in years. My morning routine is always pretty much the same let my dog out, check email and the news over coffee and then I write until noon. Later in the day I work on my blog or other business related activities.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writing in the self-help genre is tricky because you can’t just write what inspires you. You have to constantly monitor trends to see what issues people are grappling with and then - if it fits with your particular niche - come up with realistic ways to solve problems and offer encouragement.
At best self-help can inspire a reader to take action and provide a path, but ultimately it’s up to each of us to take that first step and it all boils down to how motivated someone is to make the most of their life.

Loren Mathis

Guest Post, Oswald Wallace

Posted on Friday, May 9, 2014 1:59 PM
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She was lying. He knew from the way she kept moving the things in the kitchen. He knew from the way her hand kept touching her neck, like it always does when she's nervous. And he knew from the way she kept avoiding his eyes. But most of all, he knew because he had seen her.
"So, you haven't met anyone?" he asked her for the second time ....

That was an excerpt from my book A Cuckoo by the Window, which you can find at Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/378777) with all my other works which are FREE! Well, I'll leave you now by sharing my limited view on writing.

Writing a book is, I think, like raising a child.

You never quite finish, it's just taken out of your hand. And suddenly, even if you aren't the one who ends it, you find yourself saddled with that uncanny combination of happiness and sadness when you realise it's done.

Follow me at twitter (@OHemmingsW) and on Wattpad (www.wattpad.com/user/OllinOne). So long and thanks for all your time!
Loren Mathis

Blog Tour - Nina Mason: Queen of Swords, GIVEAWAY!

Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014 12:01 AM
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Blurb:

When Graham Logan, a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life. For the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life…or making her what he is. Neither of which his morals will permit him to do. Graham, who believes he lost his soul to the curse, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?

Cat Fingal, the third incarnation of Graham’s twin flame, won’t let him escape so easily. As soon as they meet, she feels she knows him and begins having past-life flashbacks. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him, wanting answers and to fill the void she’s felt all her life.
Graham has other problems, too. Like the seductress who wants him for herself and the dark wizard who cursed him and killed his beloved the first two times.

Will he find a way to save her this time around? Or will she save him?

Excerpt:
12th May. Visited Caitriona tonight for the first time since becoming a monster. She slept, unaware of my presence, & for a time, I was content simply to observe. As the hours passed, I began to wonder what might happen if she awoke to find me in her room. Would she think me a wraith? Would she think it a dream? Desiring to know, & to get closer, I sat down on the corner of the bed, alert for any stirrings. Seeing none, I crawled up the bed until I reached her side. Still she did not stir. Ever so carefully, I set my head upon the pillow next to hers. She slept on. Drinking in her scent, I felt contentment for the first time since fate & Fitzgerald tore us apart. I closed my eyes & must have drifted off, because next I knew, her arm fell across my chest. Startled awake, I found her blinking at me in disbelief.

I lay there, still as death, waiting for her to react. Her hand moved up my chest to my face. She dragged her fingers across my jaw, pressed them against my lips, touched the end of my nose, my eyebrows, my forehead. As she combed back my hair, she whispered: “This must be a dream. But you feel so real, so alive. I don’t ken how such a thing is possible; nor do I care. I only pray I shall never awaken.”

I kept still. I could hear her heartbeat, smell her blood, but her blood was not what I craved. She set her head on my chest & started to sob.

Loren Mathis

Guest Post - Lis Ann, The Indigo Quill

Posted on Friday, May 2, 2014 12:00 AM
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Guest Post: Lis Ann from The Indigo Quill

Basics of Self-Editing


I have many books that come across my table, several of which Ive  observed similar mistakes throughout. My goal today is to make note of a few things that you as a writer can do to make your editor happy and practice healthy habits for yourself.

Images

When providing media kits, especially in terms of the cover of your book, make sure you have sent a decent size, 300 dpi, and jpeg in format. This is the longest withstanding and easiest arrangement to work with. It also makes you look more professional as the images appear clearer and much more defined. Send your photos the way you wish for them to appear.

Accuracy

Make sure that your information and grammar is correct. I know, it seems so simple, but youd be surprised at how many people overlook these things! If youre recalling historical events, places, people, or things, double check your facts.

Grammar

Please be sure to consistently use proper forms. Keep There Theyre and Their straight. Ive actually had authors use the wrong form throughout their entire book. Your grasp on the English language is vital for your craft. If you need to brush up on your basic knowledge of effective writing, grab a book and study!

Try to stay away from: that, as, has been, this, just, had, words ending with ing or ly (especially at the beginning of sentences), I or he/she, got

Look at the first word of each sentence to be sure you didnt repeat them. Read your work out loud to hear if it sounds correct and if it can be well communicated to a reader. If needed, consult a Thesaurus to approach a phrase differently.


Make strong writing! The more you practice adequate writing habits, the easier it becomes and the more skilled you will be. You will also make your editor a very happy camper! :)

Follow The Indigo Quill:


Loren Mathis
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